Monday, May 3, 2010
Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything by Lenore Look
Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything
Written by: Lenore Look
Illustrated by: Anne Wilsdorf
Simon & Schuster
For ages 6-10 / Grades 1-5
Whoa. Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything takes all the best things from Ruby Lu, Brave and True - relatable and lovable characters, humor, and good clean fun - and kicks things up a notch.
Ruby Lu, Brave and True ends with Chinese American second grader Ruby Lu at the airport with her family and friends to greet relatives emigrating from China. Ruby meets her cousin Flying Duck for the first time, but feels as though she has known Flying Duck all her life. Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything picks up right where Ruby Lu, Brave and True left off. Ruby is adjusting to sharing her home with Flying Duck and her aunt and uncle. She loves all the hustle and bustle and special attention that comes with welcoming her relatives to America. Most of all, Ruby loves Flying Duck. Flying Duck is deaf, but can speak and lip-read Cantonese, lip-read a little English, and do Chinese Sign Language. Flying Duck is the same age and grade as Ruby, and like Ruby, she is smart, sweet, and fun.
There are things Ruby does not like about living with her relatives. She doesn't like how nobody at home speaks English anymore, or how chopsticks completely replaced forks at the dinner table. There are many more things Ruby doesn't like about living with her relatives, but it's not that she doesn't like different foods, languages, or habits. She just doesn't like having her life turned upside down.
Ruby has even more on her plate. These days she's always fighting with her best friend and neighbor Emma. One fight was so bad that she tried to jump Emma! Ruby wonders why friendship is so hard. Ruby is also getting into trouble at school. In fact, she has to go to summer school. Yikes. Plus, Ruby's parents are making her take swimming lessons even though she is afraid of swimming and water. Double yikes. Oh, and there are all the items on Ruby's 12-Step Summer Plans to take care of!
Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything is about family, friends, school, summer, and community, and it has so much drama and excitement! Ruby gets into several scrapes that made me laugh out loud or cringe in embarrassment for her, or both! Ruby, the little girl all little girls can relate to through her adventures, continues to entertain and inspire. Lenore Look's clever and imaginative writing continues to delight. Anne Wilsdorf's black and white spot illustrations continue to charm.
Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything is the perfect summer read for the special little girl in your life. :o)